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Registration Certificate (RC): All You Need to Know

As much as getting a driving license for driving a motor vehicle on Indian roads is mandatory, getting a registration certificate issued is also of equal importance. A registration certificate or RC is an official document stating that your vehicle is registered with the Indian government. It acts as a document proving the registration of your motor vehicle.

In India, it is essential for a vehicle owner to obtain a registration certificate as the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988 makes it mandatory for every vehicle owner to have a valid RC to be able to drive a motor vehicle on Indian roads. The MV Act states that no person can drive a vehicle on Indian roads without a registration certificate.

A vehicle registration certificate is valid for 15 years from the date of issue and can be renewed for a period of 5 years after expiry. A temporary registration certificate is valid for one month from the date of issue and cannot be renewed.

The registration of a vehicle in any state or Union territory has to be done in accordance with the rules of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

How to get RC Book or RC Smart Card?

Every vehicle owner (private or non-commercial vehicle) is required to register his vehicle at the nearest RTO office. As a part of the registration procedure, the vehicle is inspected by an inspecting authority at the RTO office/zonal office.

You can also get your vehicle registered through motor vehicle dealers who have the registration powers. In this case, the self-registering dealers will deliver the motor vehicle to the customer only after getting the vehicle registered.

Documents required for registration of a vehicle

Here is a list of documents that are required for obtaining a registration certificate for your vehicle:

  • Duly filled Form 20 i.e. the application form for registration of a motor vehicle
  • Form 21 i.e. sales certificate issued by a vehicle dealer
  • Form 22, Form 22- A i.e. roadworthiness certificate issued by the manufacturer
  • Pan card
  • Passport size photographs
  • Dealer and manufacturer invoice
  • Attested copy of vehicle insurance
  • Attested copy of address proof
  • Registration Fees
  • Form 34 signed by the owner and financer

Entries available in Registration Certificate (RC) Card

Here are a few details that your RC card mentions:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Name and address of the vehicle owner
  • Maker’s class and vehicle class
  • Month and year of vehicle manufacture
  • Fuel used
  • Chassis number and engine number
  • Type of vehicle body
  • Cubic capacity
  • Seating capacity
  • Wheelbase
  • Colour of the vehicle
  • Unladen weight
  • Date of registration and expiry date
  • Signature of the owner

Application Process for Obtaining Duplicate Registration Certificate (RC) Card

If your RC is stolen, misplaced or torn, then you can get a duplicate RC by following the below procedure:

  • File an FIR at the nearest police station where you lost your RC.
  • File an application for a duplicate RC. You will have to get Form 26 for this.
  • Get a signature of your vehicle financier if you have purchased the vehicle on loan.
  • Submit Form 26 along with supporting documents and complaint letter at the RTO office that issued you the original RC.

Documents required for getting duplicate RC book

  • Form 26 i.e. application for duplicate RC
  • FIR copy in case of loss of RC
  • Original copy in case of damage of RC
  • Tax token and tax payment details of last 4 quarters
  • Insurance certificate
  • No objection certificate (NOC) from the financier
  • Valid pollution under control certificate

Fees for getting RC:

Two wheelers
Rs. 300
Light Motor Vehicle (Non Transport)
Rs. 600
Medium goods and passenger vehicle
Rs. 1000
Heavy goods vehicle
Rs. 1500
Heavy passenger motor vehicle
Rs. 5000
Imported motor vehicle
Rs. 3000
Imported motor cycle
Rs. 5000

Procedure to convert RC book to RC Smart Card To convert your RC book to RC smart card, follow the below procedure:

  • Write a letter to the superintendent of traffic police in your city stating your objective of getting your RC book converted to a smart card.
  • Take a copy of your vehicle insurance certificate and vehicle emission certificate.
  • Pay the prescribed fees.
  • Submit the RC book and the above documents at your nearest RTO office.
  • You will receive the RC smart card at your registered address within a week.

FAQs on Registration Certificate

I reside in Delhi and I am shifting to Mumbai with my Car so can I use the same registration certificate that was issued in Delhi?

Yes, you can transfer your registration certificate from one state to other, but you will have to get a no objection certificate issued from the RTO that first registered your vehicle.

What information does an RC smart card contain?

RC smart card contains the below information:

  • Registration number and date
  • Engine number
  • Chassis number
  • Colour and vehicle type
  • Seating capacity
  • Model number

What are the documents required for change of address in registration certificate?

The following documents are required for change of address in the registration certificate: -Original RC certificate -Form 33 -NOC from original registering authority in Form 28 -Attested copy of PUC certificate and valid driving license -Attested copy of PAN card or Form 60 and Form 61 (as applicable) -Attested copy of the registered address proof and new address proof -No objection certificate by the financier if the hypothecation is endorsed in the registration certificate

How can I check my RC status?

Ideally, your RC is delivered at your doorstep within 7 days. But if you want to check your RC status, then visit this link status and enter your registration number and the status will be displayed on the screen.